Three years ago, Neil L. Andersen, his wife, Kathy, and their four children were watching videotapes of general conference. They were impressed by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve’s address that suggested members read the preface of the new hymnbook and then counseled members not to neglect the hymns, recalls Elder Andersen, a newly called member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Then serving as mission president of the France Bordeaux Mission, Elder Andersen took the counsel to heart, as did his family. “We instituted an almost daily program to learn the hymns,” he said. “We have realized in great abundance the promises outlined in the preface written by the First Presidency.”
“We don’t realize the enormous blessings available to us unless we actively pursue a course that follows the teachings of the prophets and Apostles,” observes Elder Andersen. “Our family has seen it work over and over again.”
Born 9 August 1951 and reared in Pocatello, Idaho, Elder Andersen served a mission to France and married Kathy Sue Williams on 20 March 1975 in the Salt Lake Temple. He graduated from Brigham Young University and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. He and Kathy then moved to Tampa, Florida, her hometown, where he worked as an advertising executive and later as a vice president of Morton Plant Health System. In addition to his service as mission president, he has served as a stake president, as a counselor in a stake presidency, and as a high councilor.
“Some of our happiest memories are of serving a mission,” notes Elder Andersen. “It is while serving others that the Lord increases and builds our capacities. On so many occasions, as I have felt inadequate in the calling before me, I have felt the Lord’s generosity in lifting and strengthening me. It is that knowledge that sustains me now as I contemplate this new and humbling opportunity.”